Las Vegas to Host Gold Cup Final for First Time

las vegas
(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Two-time Gold Cup finalists, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, will get the chance to feature at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium if they can reach their third final in seven years, after organizers CONCACAF on Tuesday awarded the championship game to the City of Lights.

Opened last July, the near US$2 billion venue already plays host to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, and will now also stage the first-ever Gold Cup match to be played in the cosmopolitan western United States city in the tournament’s 30-year history.

Jamaica, one of 12 teams to have already qualified for this year’s showpiece, were losing finalists in the 2015 tournament stage at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, and two years later at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

This year’s Gold Cup is scheduled for July 10 to August 1 and will be played amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has already accounted for 31 million infections across the country and nearly 560 000 deaths.

“At CONCACAF we are very excited about this summer’s Gold Cup and we know that Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium will provide a great host city and venue for the final,” said president Victor Montagliani.

“2021 is CONCACAF’s 60th anniversary year making this edition extra special for players and fans.

“The federations and their teams are looking forward to this tournament with great anticipation and it is fitting that the regional champion will be crowned in such an outstanding venue and famous city.”

The Gold Cup will see 16 teams competing across four groups in the preliminary round, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the quarter-finals.

Qatar, the reigning Asian Cup champions and who will host next year’s FIFA World Cup, will feature in the tournament for the first time as guests.

Raiders president Marc Badain said the Gold Cup final added to the brand value of the Allegiant Stadium.

“The Raiders are proud to join Las Vegas in hosting the final of the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup at Allegiant Stadium in August,” Badain said.

“The Gold Cup stands out among the many world-class events that will be hosted at Allegiant Stadium, and we are excited to bring CONCACAF’s signature event to the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World.”

Steve Hill, CEO/President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said the city would offer an “unforgettable” experience to those participating in the final.

“We’re thrilled that the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup is coming to the Sports Capital of the World,” Hill noted.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to host an event of this caliber, and with world-class entertainment, dining, outdoor adventure and sports facilities, we’re confident the teams and their fans will find an unforgettable, Only Vegas experience.”

Several Caribbean Football Union nations will do battle in the Gold Cup, with the likes of Grenada, Curacao, Martinique and Suriname having already qualified.

CONCACAF will stage a 12-team qualifier from July 2-8 at Inter Miami’s CF Stadium in Fort Lauderdale to determine the last three spots in the Gold Cup first round.

CMC

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